Watching the General Assembly today was certainly instructive. The phrase has been attributed to a number of people but whoever said it was right: Laws, as with sausage, should not be watched in the making.
In my previous post I did a sort-of live blogging of event up to around 6:15 PM or so. Feel free to read that post but I’m going to recap the pertinent stuff here. As you know if you’ve read this blog I was an advocate for several bills passing through the Assembly and, when Governor Kaine vetoed them, I was also an advocate for the override of those vetoes. Well, here’s how it shook out today:
|House (Y/N)||Senate (Y/N)||House (Y/N)||Senate (Y/N)|
|HB1851||Military > 1 gun/mo.||73/26||26/14||Yes||No|
|SB877||Retired LEO CCW in restaurant||76/22||30/10||Yes||Yes|
|SB1035||CCW in restaurant||n/a||24/16||n/a||No|
|SB1528||CCW safety course online||73/23||28/12||Yes||Yes|
You’ll note that the Senate actually had a majority vote to override the veto in each case. The ones that failed did so because they needed 2/3rds of the Senate to vote for the override, which means they needed 27 Yes votes to get the job done. Cynic that I am, I am convinced the Democratic majority in the Senate contrived to allow a number of their own to vote yes to the override so they could go home and say they voted “yes” but there just wasn’t enough votes to complete the override. Be as that may, this is what it is. Of the 5 bills I was hoping to see an override on, 2 of them managed to get through. Of the others, the House voted to override but the Senate did not.
The big bill, so far as I was concerned, was SB1035 which sought to remove the inconsistency of being a trustworthy enough citizen to carry a concealed weapon in the street and the sidewalk outside a restaurant but not enough so as to carry it past the threshold of that restaurant. Irrational fears and hyped-up hypotheticals is all that the opponents of this bill have had for over 2 years, now. This law has been passed twice by the Commonwealth’s elected representatives by quite large margins only to be dismissed by a handful of people. Truly incredible.
The good news is that this will be the last time Kaine gets to use Virginia’s legislative process to pad his national resume. He’s out in November, period. Those of us who have tried to work with him and his party must now put our efforts into electing Bob McDonnell to the governorship and as many Delegates and Senators as we can who offer the trust and respect to Virginia’s citizens that we’ve clearly been asking for.
In case any of my nearby neighbors were wondering, Delegate Dave Poisson (House 32nd District) and Senator Mark Herring (Senate 33rd District) voted like this:
Note that Poisson didn’t vote on SB1035 because the Senate failed to override making the House vote moot. I would like to point out to my fellow Loudouners that the votes of these 2 gentlemen make it clear they trust a retired cop slamming down brews at the local pub with a concealed weapon far more than they trust you stone-cold sober. Keep that in mind.
I’d also like to hear them explain themselves regarding HB1851 where they think our military personnel and Guardsmen aren’t worth the consideration of being able to buy more than 1 handgun a month. With the deployments going on a soldier with orders to ship out might very well get caught having to decide between buying a sidearm for his own use overseas or getting one for his wife to keep at home to defend themselves here. I don’t understand how they can claim to trust and honor our military personnel – and depend on them to fulfill their missions, I might add – and not allow them this latitude. I hope members of our military and Guard will keep that in mind, as well.
Time to turn our eyes toward the future, my friends, and work to show Virginians everywhere that we’ve got the ideas and solutions to a better way and the people who know how to get them implemented.
I’ve listened with disgusted amazement at the people getting on TV and talking about the Mexican drug war going on making the statement that the guns and other weapons being used are coming into Mexico from the United States. It’s almost invariably linked to more gun control advocacy. I knew there was something very, very wrong in all of this when I started hearing about the types of weapons and seeing the pictures. They included fully-automatic weapons, mortars, and various explosive missiles – none of which are available in the US civilian market that’s being blamed for the guns.
Now, Fox News has done some exclusive reporting that shows this often-repeated claim is at best the repetition of dead wrong info and an outright lie at worst. Speaking of the claim repeated by Secretary of State Clinton, CA Senator Dianne Feinstein, members of the MSM and even officials at BATFE that 90% of the guns found in Mexico came through the US:
There’s just one problem with the 90 percent “statistic” and it’s a big one:
It’s just not true.
In fact, it’s not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.
You see, the fact is that of the guns Mexico turned over to us to see if they were from the US, 90% of those were, in fact, ID’d as coming from the United States. The problem for the statistic comes when you find out that during the collection period where those guns were found at Mexican crime scenes, the Mexican police recovered 4 times as many guns that weren’t sent to us:
In 2007-2008, according to ATF Special Agent William Newell, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced — and of those, 90 percent — 5,114 to be exact, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover — were found to have come from the U.S.
But in those same two years, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.
In other words, 68 percent of the guns that were recovered were never submitted for tracing. And when you weed out the roughly 6,000 guns that could not be traced from the remaining 32 percent, it means 83 percent of the guns found at crime scenes in Mexico could not be traced to the U.S.
Short & sweet, the “90% of guns recovered in Mexican crime scenes came out of America” claim is sheer crap, as bogus as the day is long. Enough, already. I have no issue with helping the Mexican government out but their problems with crime didn’t start with the US and they’re not being supported by our firearms market. I would suggest that those persons concerned with what’s going on down there stick to the facts and work to resolve the real issues. Leave the “blame America for the guns” meme behind.
A Virginia jail could be the next home for Guantanamo Bay inmates.
The maximum security jail in Alexandria, Va. — home to approximately 460 inmates — is under contract to take federal inmates who are tried at the courthouse just a few blocks away.
Among them could be former Al Qaeda operatives detained in Guantanamo Bay like Abu Zubaydah, Al Qaeda’s operations chief, or Abd Al-Nashiri, the alleged planner of the U.S.S. Cole attack, Alexandria sheriff Dana Lawhorne told FOX News.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, spent some time this past weekend meeting with illegal immigrants and telling them that enforcement of the existing US immigration laws is un-American.
Oh, yes she did:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently told a group of both legal and illegal immigrants and their families that enforcement of existing immigration laws, as currently practiced, is “un-American.”
The speaker, condemning raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, referred to the immigrants she was addressing as “very, very patriotic.”
“Who in this country would not want to change a policy of kicking in doors in the middle of the night and sending a parent away from their families?” Pelosi told a mostly Hispanic gathering at St. Anthony’s Church in San Francisco.
“It must be stopped….What value system is that? I think it’s un-American. I think it’s un-American.”
No, it’s the illegals coming here in full knowledge that they’re breaking our laws that are un-American. It’s the Speaker of the House publicly slandering an entire agency’s worth of law enforcement professionals by calling them un-American for doing the job specified by Congress that’s un-American.
Pelosi’s actions are indefensible. Her oath – her oath – to uphold and defend the Constitution demands that she support the professionals hired by the government to enforce the laws she and her fellow representatives have passed. If Pelosi is so outraged by the laws passed by Congress then she should submit a bill to change them, not cut the legs out from under ICE and join in slamming them. She owes ICE and the American people an apology for talking like that to people who are, by definition, not American citizens.
Elections have consequences, folks. Pelosi is happy to advocate not obeying the law in public to people who are not owed a damned thing in this country. What other laws is she willing to just dismiss and diss? Her word, her oaths, are clearly meaningless. She should be cut loose and someone who actually has the best interested of this country at heart put in her place.
Remember the sounds of trumpets here in the last couple of weeks over Obama’s announcement of a drawdown of troops in Iraq? If you were at all connected to the news you’d have to be. You couldn’t miss it. With great fanfare, Obama announced that troops were going to be deployed, instead, to Afghanistan. Greyhawk over at Mudville Gazette brings some disturbing information to light. Obama’s been lying to you about that drawdown and he’s been using the lives of some of our military units as pawns in doing so:
Let’s recap the salient points here:
1. In September, 2008, the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) – after months of preparation – is ordered to Iraq. (One of two SBCTs that were then scheduled to replace the two currently in Iraq)
2. In February, 2009, President Obama announces his Iraq drawdown/Afghanistan surge – the 5th SBCT will be diverted to Afghanistan instead of Iraq.
3. March, 2009, the DoD announces the 4th SBCT will deploy to Iraq this fall, several months ahead of the original schedule replacing the 5th SBCT in the rotation in order to maintain two Stryker Brigades in Iraq.
For the record, I’m in favor of commanders on the ground getting the forces they need to get the job done. I have no doubt that two Stryker Brigades are needed in Iraq, and others in Afghanistan.
I’m deeply concerned when I see troop rotations “adjusted” in what appears to be an effort to fool the American public.
That’s an understatement, Mr. Greyhawk. Read the linked post over there. It has the details and links to the original sources. Greyhawk is military himself and has insights and connections in the military that I lack, so definitely listen to him. As Greyhawk says at the close of this post, of equal or greater concern is the lack of coverage and “connect the dots” by our media over this. Had this happened a year ago, it’d have been a helluva story. It would been one you couldn’t have escaped if you’d tried. Why not now? Hmmm.
Obama’s “we are one with the world” approach apparently not impressing our more faithful allies (Updated and bumped: thoughtless gift-giving)
It would appear that Obama’s fumbling isn’t limited to the financial arena. Given that everyone was telling me that the world would just love America again once Obama was in office, I’d say his performance in that regard isn’t meeting their expectations. Particularly with the British, now:
But Obama’s merely warmish words (one of our closest allies, said with little sincerity or passion) left a bitter taste with this Atlanticist. Especially after his team had made Number 10 beg for a mini press conference and then not even offered the PM lunch.
We get the point, sunshine: we’re just one of many allies and you want fancy new friends. Well, the next time you need something doing, something which impinges on your national security, then try calling the French, or the Japanese, or best of all the Germans. The French will be able to offer you first rate support from their catering corps but beyond that you’ll be on your own.
The Brits are, frankly, among the longest, most loyal friends and allies America has. The visit by PM Gordon Brown was one of the most badly bungled visits by a foreign leader I’ve seen in my lifetime and it’s apparently not gone unnoticed across the pond, either. In every major conflict in the last 25 years, the British have been there with us and they’ve actually brought real, live fighting men with weapons and transports of their own. They are one of the few countries capable of working with us at our level in the air. Our ground forces regard theirs as professional and capable warriors and, considering the capabilities of our troops, that’s saying something.
For a man who was busting the chops of DC residents’ “flintiness” in the face of bad weather not even a month ago, I would have expected Obama to be able to pull off whatever events he’d planned regardless of the snowfall we had back on Monday. Would it have been too much to ask to do the press conference with full honors inside? Would it not have been a good move to schedule a meal with the PM? Just to show we appreciate them?
Bad form, Mr. President. Bad form, indeed. And this time, it’s going to be remembered.
Update: And then there’s this:
Brown, the first European leader to visit Obama since his Jan. 20 inauguration, was presented with a “special collector’s box” of DVDs during his two-day visit to Washington.
Downing Street, which reportedly tried to keep the present a secret, declined to say what movies were included in the set.
“One reason for the secrecy might be that the gift seems markedly less generous and thoughtful than the presents taken to Washington by the Prime Minister,” London’s Evening Standard newspaper reported.
The Daily Mail, however, reported the movie set included ET, Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz and was produced by the American Film Institute on “special request” from the White House.
Brown, who is not known to be a movie buff, gave the president and his children several uniquely historical gifts.
So, let’s compare the amount of effort and thought that went into this. Obama basically outsourced the whole thing to Hollywood and gave what amounts to a basket from Netflix to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Gordon, on the other hand, gave Obama a wooden pen holder that was made from the timbers of the HMS Gannet, a British naval vessel that engaged in anti-slavery operations off the coast of Africa. He also presented the President with a framed copy of the commissioning papers for the HMS Resolute, a British ship that was caught in the arctic ice and abandoned in 1853. In 1855 an American whaler found Resolute, still stuck in the ice. The crew of the whaler, the George Henry, freed Resolute from the ice and sailed her to New London, CT. After Britain waived her claims to the ship, Congress bought her, had her refitted, and sailed her back to England. She was presented to Queen Victoria as a token of peace. Her story is one of the more moving tales of Anglo-American friendship, a point that I’m sure was hoped not to be lost on our President.
For the President’s daughters, the PM brought oufits from one of Britain’s clothing chains and 6 childrens’ books by British authors. The books have yet to be published in the US and are, therefore, unavailable in US bookstores.
Our First Lady presented the PM’s 2 boys with toy helicopters, miniatures of the President’s Marine One.
In other words, the British took the time to find the sizes of the President’s 2 girls and presented them with gifts of British fashion and of the work of British authors that they will not be able to find anywhere else in the US. Our elected leader and his family presented the PM’s boys with toys that can be bought in any decent DC gift shop.
Embarrassing. It’s just embarrassing.
So, how about them MoveOn.org creds, now? The Obama Administration has made a decision on the Constitutional rights and court access of those unlawful combatants being held at Bagram AB in Afghanistan:
Detainees being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cannot use US courts to challenge their detention, the US says.
The justice department ruled that some 600 so-called enemy combatants at Bagram have no constitutional rights.
Most have been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of waging a terrorist war against the US.
The exact quote from the Barack Obama-era Department of Justice? “Having considered the matter, the government adheres to its previously articulated position.” The DoJ and the DoD consider Bagram detainees “unlawful combatants” without any rights to access the US court system and with no recourse for release.
Just as it did in the George Bush administration. Remember how the Left considered Bush a war criminal for taking this exact position? I’d like to see how they square the circle with Obama now. A few like Glenn Greenwald will rip Obama on principle, but the rest will suddenly discover the reasonableness of detaining terrorists and treating them not like burglars but like enemy combatants who have themselves violated Geneva Conventions through their terrorism.
Just as we did in the George Bush administration.
The Left screamed bloody murder over this and are still trying to get someone, somewhere to put George Bush on trial. Now that The One has, basically, said Bush was right you’d think they’d scream at Obama the same way. You’d be wrong, of course, which begs the question of whether or not the Left’s real issue was the policy or the person whose administration articulated it.
Mark Steyn comments on a rather sensational news item that, strangely, didn’t seem sensational enough to actually make it on the evening news:
Just asking, but are beheadings common in western New York? I used to spend a lot of time in that neck of the woods and I don’t remember decapitation as a routine form of murder. Yet the killing of Aasiya Hassan seems to have elicited a very muted response.
Indeed. Aside from the blogs, I haven’t seen it anywhere in the news media of our Nation’s Capital. Click the link and read up.
Update: Wow, is the MSM feeling the pressure? The story suddenly appears on FoxNews.
A Saudi judge has ordered a woman should be jailed for a year and receive 100 lashes after she was gang-raped, it was claimed last night.
The 23-year-old woman, who became pregnant after her ordeal, was reportedly assaulted after accepting a lift from a man.
He took her to a house to the east of the city of Jeddah where she was attacked by him and four of his friends throughout the night.
According to the judge’s ruling, the woman committed adultery. The fact that she’s not married apparently didn’t get in the way of that ruling. Actually, she “confessed” to the crime of having “forced intercourse.” (Yeah, that’s “rape” here in the US.) The woman became pregnant as a result of the attack and the court has graciously allowed her to carry to term and give birth before they handcuff her to a post and whip her 100 times with a leather bullwhip.
It’s times like these that I recall all the “diversity training” I’ve been required to attend and the inevitable presence of some woman with a glaring eye searching endlessly for the slightest thing that might possibly be offensive to some woman somewhere. I recall the various marches downtown and the picketing over some feminist issue or another. Where are those women, those marchers, those picketers now? Shouldn’t they be in front of the Saudi Embassy or shouting at their elected reps or flooding the media (print, radio, and TV) with demands that we loudly condemn such actions?
I know I do and I say so when I get the opportunity. Where, I wonder, are they?
Update: Apparently I’m not alone in asking the question. NOW keeps getting mentioned as an organization that’s got this sort of thing in their sights. This story says otherwise.
Well, on the heels of Obama’s sudden turnaround on the matter of rendition, his CIA nominee Leon Panetta is now saying he’d ask for the ability to conduct “harsher interrogations” under circumstances he found “necessary.” My, my. That almost sounds like… like… he’d want to, you know, torture someone. Or, at the very least, make them uncomfortable.
Imagine for a second that one of Bush’s top folks publicly said they’d want to ask for authorization to exceed the Field Manual’s restrictions on coersion. Can’t you just hear the howling from the media? Where is that howling now, I wonder?
Hat tip: Instapundit.